Soulgrind – The Tuoni Pathway [2010]

Band: Soulgrind
Album: The Tuoni Pathway
Release year: 2010
Genre: Black Metal/Pagan Metal

soulgrind_enter

Soulgrind are one of many bands on the Finnish metal scene, though their members have each played with other well known bands such as Nightwish and Finntroll. Soulgrind’s most recent album “The Tuoni Pathway” was released via Femme Metal Records.

“The Call of the Dancing Waters” begins the album with an atmospheric piano medley though the overdriven guitar that plays along side it ruins it slightly. The track takes a heavy turn soon after, improving upon the overdriven guitar fortunately. The vocals sound weak compared to the music, almost as if they’re not suited for the genre. The piano medleys are the one thing that stick out the most about this song.

”Rain Before The Dawn” follows after. The introduction is quite interesting, being composed of various sounds on a synth, which blend in well with the guitar riffs. The vocals are still lacking in strength which is unfortunate. The use of aggressive vocals doesn’t quite work with the music on this track in certain sections which is disappointing since they’re impressive. Musically, this song is good as the riffs are well composed. “March Butterfly” starts with a wondrous blend of piano, guitars and drums which fades into just drums and synths when the vocals first make themselves heard, dampening the energy of the song. The growls make an appearance again, fortunately, helping add a bit of energy back into the song. The female vocals sound slightly stronger as well.

The heavier styling of “Song Of Tomorrow” comes next, bringing a semi-black metal sound with it. The semi-growls are the first form of vocals to be heard, adding a touch of aggression to the song whilst the mediocre sound of the female vocals adds a subtle calmness to the song. The guitars feel like they want to be heavier and the drums seem quite soft. The piano sections are the only sections of the song that there’s no flaw with. “My Sweet Thought Of Death” gradually fades with a sound that isn’t as dark as what would be expected, considering the title of the track. The female vocals sound similar to those of Sarah Jezebel Deva’s, though not as strong. The guitar work is lacking in any form of energy, passion or technical composition, with the keyboard sections being heard more than the rest of the instrumentation.

“Tulikannel” has a raw, angsty guitar introduction, combined with harsh, violent growls. The cleaner vocals are pretty weak, for the most part and opposing the heavy instrumentation. There also seems to be a massive overuse of the double bass pedals throughout the vast majority of the track. “Among The Graves” has a symphonic heavy intro that is soon accompanied by the heavier work of the guitars and drums. The aggressive growls are powerful and rage-fuelled, while the cleaner vocals struggle to match the power of the growls. The drums are well played, very precise. The guitars certainly play some interesting parts as well.

Towards the end of the album comes “Farewell To Misery”, a bland track to begin with as the piano and symphonic sections don’t offer much excitement in their playing. The clean vocals are partially out of key, not match the music at all. The track seems very symphonic orientated with little emphasis on the guitars. The more aggressive death metal styled vocals are the only part of this song that are really worth mentioning.

The album finishes off “Vuoret La Metsanmaa”, which starts with an okay guitar section topped with the sound of thunder. The clean vocals sound very Russian in their accent, which is interesting to say the band are Finnish. The guitar section stays the same throughout the vast majority of the song, barely changing at all, leaving the listener tempted to press the stop button and on the few parts when the guitar riffs change, the track doesn’t seem to become anything special . There are some symphonic elements though these don’t improve the track that much.

To say that Soulgrind is composed of ex-members of bands such as Finntroll and Nightwish, “The Tuoni” Pathway” is a weak album with only a few highlights. Perhaps it’s the varying styles of the musicians that has made the album weak, if so, then they’ll have to seriously put their heads together and work on a way for their styles to gel together as opposed to clashing like dogs fighting over a bone.

2/5

Nico Davidson

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